Just before penning his now-famous advice to the Corinthians about the weapons of our warfare, Paul confessed, "Indeed, we live as human beings" (2 Cor. 10:3, NRSV). This seems like an obvious admission. But Paul's words here contain perhaps a reality we Christians don't like to concede. Yes, we live as humans, and so, we all deal with human things from time to time: struggles, temptations and weaknesses. Issues to which, on this side of eternity, none of us are completely immune.
Satan's Strategy of Shame
While this might seem counterintuitive to how he usually works, the enemy would rather you not know this. He'd prefer you to believe that after you're saved, you shouldn't struggle any longer.
As part of his great strategy of shame, the devil uses every slip up or confrontation by that all-too-familiar weakness to make accusations about who you aren't or what you don't have. "You're not a real Christian," "You don't have enough faith," or "You don't pray enough," he charges. With these, the enemy tries to silence you—to keep you quiet about your flaws, to influence you to put on a mask and pretend through pain. "Don't tell anyone," he urges. "Nobody will understand; they'll reject you!"
The Muzzle of Struggle
The devil knows the powerful truth that healing often happens through the sharing of weakness (see James 5:16). Accordingly, he uses a strategy of isolation to keep you shackled to the shame of your struggles.
Have you ever experienced this? I have. One of our first reactions when we've made a mistake or are feeling discouraged or depressed is to withdraw from people. We skip church or small group. We stop calling and texting. Our answers to the questions of family and friends become short and vague.
While it might feel good for a moment to lock yourself away, it soon only intensifies the issues. You are I were not designed to be alone. No, God made us for relationship. When we withdraw because of feelings of guilt, shame or the belief that "nobody else suffers like I do," discouragement is only magnified, which in turn, leads us back to the same ole struggles, and on and on the cycle goes.
The Greatest Shame Buster
If you truly want to begin the process of healing the shame of your struggles, then don't hide out. Ignoring is not the road to redeeming. Find someone you trust to take off your mask around and confess your faults. In doing so, you'll realize you are not alone in your weaknesses, but you are just another human being dealing with human things. You'll have somebody to pray for you and keep you accountable. Ultimately, though, you'll experience perhaps the greatest shame buster: the reality that somebody who truly knows you, truly loves you.
Kyle Winkler (kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God's Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
It's a NEW YEAR! Get ready for a NEW YOU!
- New Year Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- Go Deeper with God in a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Anointed Woman Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Never Stop Praying - Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- New Year - New You - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for two years for Only $29.97 and get two free gifts. Gift #1 The Harbinger. Gift #2 The Harbinger II. Both books are by New York Times Best-Selling author Jonathan Cahn. View Offer